Group Activities and Park Rules

(recent changes are highlighted in red)

We want to be a true learning experience for your group, as well as an entertaining one.  With that in mind, several of our rules are important to keep everyone safe, to maintain the integrity of the park, and to protect the rights and safety of the other guests.

  1. Group visits are typically scheduled during the week, for a non-scheduled Saturday or for a non-scheduled Sunday, so that individual weekend guests can get the personal attention they expect and the groups can get full attention.

  2. Groups should be no larger than 40 because the facilities are limited (very negotiable based on the the intended activities, the involvement of the group leaders and the availability of additional Park personnel).

  3. Groups that include persons with special needs should include sufficient adults to accommodate those needs.  Using Park personnel to accommodate those needs will reduce the time available to conduct tours or to assist with panning.  

  4. Children are the responsibility of the adults in charge of the group.  They are expected to be well-behaved and to not interfere with the other guests.

  5. If at all possible, some of the adults for large groups should take on the responsibility to assist the Park personnel, especially when it comes to panning instruction.  Large groups can become very difficult to handle if everyone needs personal instruction.  The panning operation is incredibly simple, but attention to detail is essential.

  6. Picnic areas are available, but food is not available at the Park and there is no drinking fountain.  There are several fast food outlets available within walking distance.  Drinks are available for sale only during large events.

  7. Because the Park is a National Historic Registry site, there is absolutely no digging allowed, no materials removal, and no willful destruction of any of the features, including wildlife.

  8. Some of the features of the Park are inherently dangerous, therefore, climbing on, over, or through the fences is absolutely prohibited.

  9. No glass bottles or containers in the Park (Town of McCormick rule)

  10. Please dispose of your trash in the receptacles provided.  Removal of trash from the mine pits and shafts is extremely difficult and dangerous.

  11. Please do not use your hands to retrieve dirt from the panning trough.  If you need to retrieve sand or dropped objects, see one of the Park personnel.  The water is muddy and hazards may be hidden. 

  12. Hand sanitizer is available after completion of the panning activity and its use is encouraged.  The water is treated regularly, but it is inherently dirty and a lot of people contribute a lot of contaminants.

  13. No one will be allowed in the mine tunnel without a Park representative being present.  No exceptions.  The tunnel may be unavailable due to standing water after periods of heavy rain.

  14. Most areas of the park are accessible by wheelchair (reasonable) or power scooter (much better), but there are some places where the incline is substantial.  Sorry, but the mine tunnel cannot be made wheelchair accessible.  The picnic tables are wheelchair accessible for two people at each of the two tables.  Although the panning trough is not wheelchair friendly, panning can be accommodated using small tubs at the benches.  Let me know what you would like to do and I will try to accommodate you.

  15. Wheelchair-accessible rest rooms are available on site.

  16. Time in the Park can be maximized if the group leader will collect the appropriate fees in advance.

Group visit arrangements: Dave Gray, Park Manager by email to  Arrangements should be finalized in an email to document negotiations and to help me remember the details.  Special visit arrangements are subject to a minimum of $25 gate/tour fee for 8 people over 5 years of age and $2 per person beyond the first 8.  Panning and gemstone materials are additional at $5 per bucket.  While sharing a bucket of gold ore is reasonable, I strongly discourage sharing of gemstone buckets.  Children under 7 years of age typically do not do well with gold panning.  For groups over 15, special arrangements might be required to assure that sufficient staff personnel are on hand.

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